Acer Cloudbooks Do Windows 10 for Just $169
Acer is gunning for a piece of the affordable-laptop pie with its new aggressively priced notebooks. The Aspire One Cloudbook series are sub-$200 notebooks that run Windows 10 and will initially be available in two sizes, very similar to HP's Stream 11. The Cloudbook 11 (starting at $169) and Cloudbook 14 (starting at ($199) will be available in August and September, respectively.
As the name suggests, the Cloudbook series will depend heavily on cloud-services such as Office 365 and OneDrive. Each Cloudbook comes with a 1-year subscription of Office 365 Personal, as does the HP Stream 11. You can pick up a 32GB and 64GB model to get a preloaded 1TB OneDrive subscription. The 16GB version comes with a 1-year, 100GB OneDrive voucher.
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You'll also get Acer's suite of apps, such as abPhoto, abMusic, abDocs and abFiles for convenient cross-device access to files stored in the cloud.
Designed to enhance the Windows 10 experience, the Cloudbooks pack dual digital microphones with enhanced digital signal processing for better online calls. This setup should also help the voice-controlled assistant Cortana hear you more clearly and accurately.
Design-wise, the Cloudbooks aren't too exciting. They're a matte gray with what Acer calls a dotted textile pattern on the back. The notebooks feature 11-inch or 14-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel displays, and are powered by Intel Celeron mobile processors with 2GB of RAM. With the latest 802.11ac wireless tech, the laptops should offer speedy web browsing if you have a current 802.11ac router.
Those specs are similar to the ones for one of our favorite budget Windows laptops, the HP Stream 11. For $200, the Stream 11 offers an 11-inch 1366 x 768 display, Intel Celeron power with 2GB of RAM and Windows 8.1 in a colorful, sleek chassis. However, it doesn't support the 802.11ac wireless standard that the Cloudbooks do.
Each Cloudbook also sports an array of connectivity options, such as HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and SD Card slots.
We'll have to wait until we get a unit in for a full review, but as it stands, the new Acer Aspire Cloudbooks look like a compellingly affordable option for Windows fans on a budget.
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